WAIOWEKA singles bowler Tahi Tate-Ropotini makes a shot during the indoor bowls competition at the Aims Games in Tauranga last year. File photo

OPOTIKI schools will be well represented in this year’s Anchor AIMs Games, which will be held in Tauranga in September.

Scheduled to take place from September 8 to 13, a total of 360 schools and 11,512 athletes will compete in 23 sports over the course of the week.

Seventeen of those schools hail from the Eastern Bay.

Students from Opotiki Primary School have been attending AIMS Games for the past 14 years.

Principal Tony Howe said the school’s participation started off with a netball team and later added golf and indoor bowls. This year the school has one netball team, 16 indoor bowlers and four golfers. The team will stay at Otamarakau Marae, 25 minutes from Mt Maunganui.

Ashbrook School will have 26 students at this year’s games. The school has attended the games for the past 12 years.

Senior team leader Shelley Mitai said students would compete in netball, table tennis and indoor bowls. In previous years the school has taken a boys basketball team, swimmers and cross country runners.

St Joseph’s School Opotiki will send 30 students to the games. Athletes will be a netball team, a futsul team and a group of bowlers. The students have been fundraising for the past couple of months and have sold firewood and watercress as well as organised raffles.

Woodlands School is taking eight students to play indoor bowls. The school has done this for the past three years. The students will travel back and forth each day from Opotiki to Tauranga.

Waimana School is entering AIMS Games for the first time. Team coach Janie Kaafi said her passion for rugby had come from being a player and her involvement in management of women’s and JAB age children.

The school will enter a team of 10 girls to compete in rugby sevens. Kaafi said she saw the games as an excellent opportunity to experience competitive sport in a well-run environment.

Other Eastern Bay schools include Otakiri, which has registered one Quick Rip team of 12 students; Te Kura o Te Paroa will have two teams, one netball team and a Quick Rip team; Tarawera High School will send girls’ and boys’ Quick Rip teams, a boys’ basketball team, a netball team and one swimmer to this year’s games.

Awakeri School has entered a mixed six-a-side hockey team, a rugby sevens team and one student is entered in the cross country event. St Joseph’s School Whakatane plans to send athletes in four sporting codes to the games.

The largest contingent from the Eastern Bay will be from Whakatane Intermediate School from which a total of 184 students will compete in badminton, girls hockey, boys hockey, girls football, boys football, boys rugby sevens, multi-sport, mountain biking, swimming, hip hop, netball, boys basketball, gymnastics, sailing, bowls and kayaking.

Edgecumbe Primary School will send one student to this year’s AIMs Games, Mieka Miller who is in year 7 and plays badminton, singles and doubles. Ruatoki School is sending one netball team of nine players to the games.